In Sicily extra virgin olive combines haute cuisine, local culture and contemporary art

Deep down in Southern Italy, in the wonderful Sicilian Valle dell’Irminio, Daniele and Roberto Aprile produce excellent extra virgin olive oils from the traditional local cultivars such as the intense Cetrale (or Tonda Iblea) and the delicate Biancolilla.

Despite having inherited the land in the Scicli countryside and the passion for olive oil from their family, they are anything but obsolete and old-fashioned.

The modern and accurate graphic, the up-to-date website and the attendance to major gastronomic events clearly demonstrate it. But they also have a great attention for local culture and contemporary art, successfully linking tradition and innovation. The last example is the “adoption” of the long-time abandoned olive-yards growing around the ancient rural church of the Holy Spirit (Santo Spirito) in Scicli.

While the church has been rescued and restored in 2010 by the local artistic group Gruppo Asterisco, the Aprile brothers are cultivating, harvesting and pressing the olives of the old trees. The revenues from the sale of this limited edition extra virgin olive oil will finance the group’s projects.


Every year, this rare product will have a different label, especially designed by an artist and selected through a contest. 2011 winner was Corrado Iozzia, with his work “the print”: a green shaded fingerprint underlining  a deep link between nature, olive oil and human labor. A powerful image that – just as the Aprile olive oil does – leaves its mark.

More articles on: , ,